Long Run Of Home Games Starts Tonight – Can Rainiers Improve Home Results?

June 13, 2018

The Rainiers host Omaha tonight at Cheney Stadium in the opener of a seven-game homestand, and it is time for this club to figure out how to win at home.

Tacoma just posted another winning road trip, taking the final three games in Nashville. After a balky start on the road, Tacoma has won 14 of the last 22 away games and is 19-17 on the road this year.

However, the club is only 13-16 at Cheney Stadium, and 16 of the next 20 games are at home before the team spends most of July on the road.

At first glance, the home/road splits for the Rainiers this year don’t seem to be out of line. The only number that is surprising is that Tacoma’s pitching staff is allowing a much higher home run rate in home games than in road games – that’s kind of wonky.

The Rainiers have actually outscored their opponents in home games by a slight margin, 143-135. That’s supposed to put you a game or two over .500 instead of three games under.

Over the course of the next three weeks we’ll see if this team can start to bag some home wins.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: The team was off yesterday to fly home from Nashville, where on Monday Tacoma had one of its best wins of the year. Tacoma overcame a 6-1 deficit by scoring four runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth inning to win, 8-6. Garrett Kennedy had a big two-run triple, and Ian Miller‘s two-run double in the eighth gave the Rainiers the lead. Matt Tenuta had a stellar relief outing and earned his first Triple-A win.

ROSTER MOVES: Rainiers fans are going to have to wait to see Evan White. The M’s first round pick in 2017 was sent back to Class-A Modesto – in fact, he went 1-for-4 last night for them after flying all morning from Nashville to Sacramento, and then driving three-and-a-half hours south to Visalia. Infielder Zach Vincej will be activated from the disabled list today, and we may see catcher Chris Herrmann on a rehabilitation assignment tonight.

TODAY: Omaha (29-34) at Tacoma (32-33), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Kansas City Royals.

SEASONS SERIES: This is the first of three games the teams will play in 2018.

PITCHERS: RHP Trevor Oaks (3-3, 2.50) at LHP Ross Detwiler (0-1, 14.73)

HOT HITTERS: Seth Mejias-Brean went 7-for-15 with a homer and five RBI in the Nashville series, and he has hit safely in ten of his last 11 games… Andrew Aplin and Ian Miller have four-game hitting streaks… Gordon Beckham went 7-for-17 at Nashville.

OPPONENT NEWS: Omaha finished a strong homestand against El Paso and Albuquerque, winning both series while going 5-2 overall… Frank Schwindel has been hot, homering in three of the last five games, and he has five homers in his last eight games… Humberto Arteaga is 4-for-7 over his last two games, he also hasn’t drawn a walk since May 4 (120 at-bats).

FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher Brandon Maurer is currently with Omaha, and he leads the team with five saves.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

The entire league was off for travel yesterday. Of note from Monday’s games: Omaha had Jeff Dziedzic on the mound and shut out Albuquerque, 2-0; and the Rainiers gained a game on first place Fresno because Oklahoma City got ’em in the tenth inning, 5-4.

 

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Rainiers Escape With First Extra-Innings Win Under New Rules

June 11, 2018

It took three tries and over two months, but the Tacoma Rainiers finally won their first game with the new extra innings rules. And despite the big home field advantage created by the rules, the Rainiers did it as the visiting team.

After losing a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning at Nashville, we went to the tenth inning tied 2-2. The automatic runner was placed at second base to begin the tenth.

A one-out walk proceeded a two-run double by Gordon Beckham, who then scored on a sacrifice fly by Seth Mejias-Brean, and the Rainiers had a three-run tenth inning rally and a 5-2 lead.

Would three runs be enough with these new extra-inning rules?

In the bottom of the tenth, Nashville put its automatic runner at second base, and then the leadoff man blooped a single into left field.

“I was feeling pretty good about the three runs,” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said after the game. “Then they hit a leadoff single, and they already have the tying run at the plate?”

Shawn Armstrong was able to get through it from there, although two runs did score and the final score was 5-4.

The victory gave Tacoma two straight wins, and suddenly the team has a 3-3 record on this seven-game road trip going into the final game of the journey tonight. Once again they somehow have a chance to post a winning record on the road trip. First pitch tonight is at 5:05 (Pacific).

Tuesday is a day off (we’re spending it flying home from Nashville) and there will be no blog update. The homestand begins on Wednesday, with Omaha coming to town, and we’ll have a fresh post for you early that afternoon.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Gordon Beckham’s two-run double keyed a three-run top of the tenth inning and Tacoma held on and won at Nashville, 5-4, as Tacoma won in extra innings for the first time this year. Seth Mejias-Brean had a huge two-out, two-run triple in the top of the eighth which gave Tacoma a 2-1 lead. Casey Lawrence had another strong start, giving up one run over six innings.

ROSTER MOVES: There were none on Sunday, and there may not be any today, either… the current group of 25 players is undefeated in two games!

TODAY: Tacoma (31-33) at Nashville (30-31), 5:05 (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Christian Bergman (4-4, 3.82) at RHP James Naile (5-5, 3.57)

HOT HITTERS: Seth Mejias-Brean has gone 5-for-12 with a homer and five RBI in this series, and he had hit safely in nine of his last ten games… Andrew Aplin and Ian Miller have three-game hitting streaks.

OPPONENT NEWS: Fresh off his first major league call-up, Nick Martini returns to a 13-game hitting streak. He has reached base in 44 straight games, which is the longest current streak in the minors (he set the NCAA record at 93 straight games while playing for Kansas State)…  Sheldon Neuse has gone 7-for-19 during a five-game hitting streak.

FAMILIAR FACES: The only former Rainier on the Nashville roster is lefty reliever Dean Kiekhefer, who spent all of the 2017 season with Tacoma while 51 other pitchers shuffled around him.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

FRESNO 12, Oklahoma City 8 – here he comes: A.J. Reed hit two homers and drove in six runs, giving him 15 dingers on the year. He led all of minor league baseball in home runs last year. Story from MiLB.com.

SACRAMENTO 3, Colorado Springs 2 – Steven Duggar‘s fourth hit of the game was a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning. His first three hits were all doubles. Despite stellar play recently, the Giants do not plan to call up Duggar soon.

MEMPHIS 6, Reno 0 – the Aces somehow got shut out on 11 hits. John Gant pitched the first seven scoreless innings for Memphis.

Albuquerque 8, OMAHA 6 – after falling behind 6-1 in five innings, Albuquerque scored seven unanswered runs, topped off by Tom Murphy‘s go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the ninth. Recap from Omaha.

New Orleans 11, SALT LAKE 8 (10) – nice comeback win on the road for New Orleans, which had three hits apiece by Isaac Galloway and Scott Van Slyke. PCL home run leader Jabari Blash bashed a pair and he’s up to 18. Story from Salt Lake City.

Round Rock 10, LAS VEGAS 6 – another tough day for the Vegas pitchers. Scott Heineman went 3-for-5 with a homer and six RBI. Story from Vegas. Appropriately for the Mets affiliate, the Las Vegas players have had a crazy number of injuries.

El Paso at IOWA – rained out, they are trying to play two before a travel curfew starting at 9:30 AM local time today.


A PCL Rarity: One Run Is Enough

June 10, 2018

We had a true rarity in the Pacific Coast League last night: a 1-0 game. The Rainiers were on the right side of it, ending a little three-game losing streak.

Rob Whalen started and pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and two walks. Relying heavily on his sinker, Whalen retired the final 12 batters he faced.

He had thrown only 83 pitches after six innings, but the team wanted to get Ariel Miranda into the game for a couple of innings. Activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, Miranda is recovering from a torn fingernail on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

The plan is for Miranda to re-join the Rainiers rotation shortly, but they wanted him to have a short outing first to make sure his finger holds up.

Miranda pitched a perfect seventh inning, and then worked around a leadoff double to protect the 1-0 lead in the eighth.

Ryan Garton was brought in to close it out, and he struck out three batters while working around a one-out walk to seal the game and get his first save.

It’s good news for Garton if he is the Rainiers new closer. Each of the three pitchers who has served as the Rainiers closer this year is now in the big leagues (Erik Goeddel, Ryan Cook, and Mike Morin).

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Ian Miller in the top of the first inning… and that was all the Rainiers needed in a 1-0 win at Nashville. Rob Whalen, Ariel Miranda, and Ryan Garton combined on a three-hit shutout – the second shutout pitched by Tacoma on this road trip.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers activated LHP Ariel Miranda and RHP Tucker Healy from the disabled list, added LHP Andrew McIver from Class-A Modesto and OF Jansiel Rivera from extended spring training. OF Jayson Werth and RHP Lindsey Caughel were placed on the disabled list. Werth re-aggravated the hamstring that was bothering him a couple of weeks ago.

TODAY: Tacoma (30-33) at Nashville (30-30), 4:15 (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 1-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Casey Lawrence (4-2, 2.79) at LHP Eric Jokisch (1-7, 5.43)

Lawrence pitched a complete game shutout in his last start.

HOT HITTERS: Seth Mejias-Brean has hit safely in eight of his last nine games… Mike Marjama has a five-game hitting streak… Evan White is a career .500 hitter in Triple-A Baseball. He’s 4-for-8.

OPPONENT NEWS: Nashville’s season has been similar to Tacoma’s: they have spent the entire year swinging between three games over .500 and three games under .500… highly ranked prospects Jorge Mateo and Sheldon Neuse have had disappointing first Triple-A seasons, so far… Neuse, however, may be heating up. He’s gone 6-for-15 during a four-game hitting streak.

FAMILIAR FACES: The only former Rainier on the Nashville roster is lefty reliever Dean Kiekhefer, who spent all of the 2017 season with Tacoma while 51 other pitchers shuffled around him.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:00 (Pacific) on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • Felix Hernandez had a rough outing and the Mariners lost in Tampa Bay on Saturday.
  • Ryan Divish did a Mariners Q&A with his Twitter followers. Apparently this is a new weekly event.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Oklahoma City 4, FRESNO 2 – Angelo Mora hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, and the Rainiers picked up a game in the standings. Story from MiLB.com.

Colorado Springs 7, SACRAMENTO 2 – rehabilitating ex-Rainiers first baseman Eric Thames went 3-for-4, homered, drove in three runs, and scored three runs.

Reno 8, MEMPHIS 5 – catcher Anthony Recker had a career day, hitting two home runs and driving in six to lead the Aces to victory.

OMAHA 2, Albuquerque 0 – Jake Kalish, Willie Peralta, and Kevin Lenik combined on a three-hit shutout for the Storm Chasers. Story from Omaha.

El Paso 4, IOWA 2 – former Rainiers lefty Dillon Overton is on a hot stretch for the Chihuahuas. He went seven innings allowing one earned run in this game.

SALT LAKE 6, New Orleans 3 – Taylor Ward had three hits, and Matt Thaiss homered and drove in four runs for the Bees. Story from SLC.

Round Rock 18, LAS VEGAS 7 – the Express had five homers among its 22 hits, and the Vegas pitching staff is really struggling to get outs. Story from Las Vegas.


Pitcher’s Park? Whatever

June 9, 2018

Don’t believe everything you read, you guys.

I wrote here yesterday that Nashville was the best pitcher’s park in the PCL, and a place where fly balls go to die.

Then the game started. Nashville hit a grand slam in the second inning, Tacoma’s Seth Mejias-Brean homered in the ninth, and the two teams combined for 14 runs on 21 hits. Nashville won, 11-3.

It was like any other PCL game played on the west side of the league.

Really, though, it was a subpar pitching performance that did in the Rainiers and led to Nashville’s 11 runs.

Tacoma pitchers walked 12 Nashville batters. Four walks were dealt by position players pitching after it was a blowout (both Danny Muno and Andrew Aplin took the mound), but that leaves eight walks issued by real pitchers. Still too many.

Despite the final score, there were positives.

Evan White hit the first Triple-A pitch he saw for a double off the center field fence. He had two more hits – including another double – and finished the game 3-for-4. He also displayed the impressive defensive range at first base which has been written about.

Nick Rumbelow made his second appearance out of the Tacoma bullpen, and this one was much, much better – in fact, it was nearly immaculate. He struck out the side on ten pitches in the bottom of the seventh inning.

On the other side of the ledger, Jayson Werth left the game with an injury suffered while chasing an extra base hit in the second inning. We’ll find out more information from manager Pat Listach today.

Tacoma looks to end a three-game losing streak this evening at 5:05 (Pacific).

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Nashville hammered the Rainiers in the series opener on Friday night, 11-3. Tacoma walked the bases loaded before allowing a grand slam to Anthony Garcia in the second inning, effectively ending the game right there. Tacoma pitchers issued 12 walks in the contest – and for the first time this season, Tacoma hitters drew zero walks.

ROSTER MOVES: With the bullpen suddenly taxed, there will be moves today.

TODAY: Tacoma (29-33) at Nashville (30-29), 5:05 (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.

SEASONS SERIES: Nashville leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Rob Whalen (6-3, 4.91) at RHP Edwin Jackson (-)

It’s the Oakland A’s organization debut for Edwin Jackson, who had been pitching for Syracuse of the International League this season. If the A’s call up Jackson, it will be his 13th different Major League team, which would tie Octavio Dotel for the all-time record.

HOT HITTERS: Seth Mejias-Brean has hit safely in seven of his last eight games… Mike Marjama has a four-game hitting streak… John Andreoli is batting .300 (9-for-30) since being optioned to Tacoma.

OPPONENT NEWS: Nashville’s season has been similar to Tacoma’s: they have spent the entire year swinging between three games over .500 and three games under .500… highly ranked prospects Jorge Mateo and Sheldon Neuse have had disappointing first Triple-A seasons, so far… shortstop Franklin Barreto recently returned from a brief stint in Oakland; he’s another top prospect.

FAMILIAR FACES: The only former Rainier on the Nashville roster is lefty reliever Dean Kiekhefer, who spent all of the 2017 season with Tacoma while 51 other pitchers shuffled around him.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • MiLB.com has a story on Evan White‘s Triple-A debut.
  • The Mariners played on Friday, which means it was another one-run win for the M’s.
  • Ryan Divish has a report on the latest Mariners injuries, players about to begin rehabilitation assignments, and an explanation of the temporary Evan White promotion.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

FRESNO 8, Oklahoma City 5 – both A.J. Reed and Derek Fisher homered during a five-run first inning for Fresno. Reed, who led the minors in homers last year, is up to 12 this season.

SACRAMENTO 4, Colorado Springs 1 – River Cats starter Casey Kelly shut down the Sky Sox for seven innings.

Reno 3, MEMPHIS 1 – trailing 1-0 going to the top of the eighth inning, Reno’s Christian Walker blasted a go-ahead three-run homer. Memphis starter Kevin Herget struck out ten over seven shutout innings.

OMAHA 16, Albuquerque 5 – a blowout in Omaha, with Frank Schwindel going 3-for-4 with a homer, three runs scored, and three RBI. Humberto Arteaga added a double, a homer, and four RBI. Story from Omaha.

El Paso 4, IOWA 3 – the Chihiuahuas scored all four runs in the top of the first inning and held on. Luis Urias posted the rare 0-for-0 with four walks line in the box score.

SALT LAKE 4, New Orleans 0 – starter Felix Pena and two relievers combined on a seven-hit shutout for the Bees – their first shutout of the season. Story from SLC.

ROUND ROCK 12, Las Vegas 5 – this was a close game for eight innings, with the Express scoring four runs in the top of the eighth to take a 6-5 lead… and then add six more in the top of the ninth. Christian Lopes homered twice for Round Rock. Story from Vegas.


Rainiers Hope To Re-Animate Bats In Hitter’s Graveyard

June 8, 2018

The Tacoma Rainiers bats were silenced the last two games in Memphis, and now the club needs to bring them to life in a ballpark where batted balls just die.

The road trip has moved on to Nashville’s First Tennessee Park, which has played as the most extreme pitcher’s park in the Pacific Coast League since opening in 2013. This ballpark really depresses home runs, and we’ll see deep fly balls that look like home runs just die on the warning track during this series.

So expect more low-scoring games – which the Rainiers have gotten used to the last three days in Memphis.

Tacoma pitched a shutout in the first game of the Memphis series, but then scored a total of just one run over the final two games. We’ll need a little more offense than that here in Nashville. Not a lot more, but definitely a little more.

It’s a four-game weekend wrap-around series here in Nashville.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: The Rainiers ran into highly regarded St. Louis Cardinals pitcher prospect Dakota Hudson and got shut out for just the second time this season, 6-0. Tacoma managed just three hits, all singles – and two were infield hits. Tacoma lost the series against the defending PCL champions, two games to one.

ROSTER MOVES: Infielder Adam Law was sent to Double-A Arkansas yesterday despite playing really well for Tacoma in his first Triple-A experience. Today the Mariners called up Dan Vogelbach and Mike Morin, and the Rainiers are adding 1B Evan White from Class-A Modesto. White was the Mariners first round draft pick last year.

TODAY: Tacoma (29-32) at Nashville (29-29), 5:05 (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.

SEASONS SERIES: Tonight is the first of four games these teams will play against one another this season.

PITCHERS: LHP Ross Detwiler (0-0, 0.00) at RHP Chris Bassitt (2-3, 6.10)

Detwiler is making his first start for Tacoma, after starting six games in the independent Atlantic League.

HOT HITTERS: Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a four-game hitting streak… Seth Mejias-Brean saw his six-game hitting streak end last night.

OPPONENT NEWS: Nashville’s season has been similar to Tacoma’s: they have spent the entire year swinging between three games over .500 and three games under .500… highly ranked prospects Jorge Mateo and Sheldon Neuse have had disappointing first Triple-A seasons, so far… shortstop Franklin Barreto recently returned from  a brief stint in Oakland; he’s another top prospect.

FAMILIAR FACES: The only former Rainier on the Nashville roster is lefty reliever Dean Kiekhefer, who spent all of the 2017 season with Tacoma while 51 other pitchers shuffled around him.

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Reno 7, NASHVILLE 1 – Kevin Cron hit two homers and drove in four runs to support a string start from Jake Buchanan.

FRESNO 6, Colorado Springs 2 – Cy Sneed tossed six shutout innings and Tyler White homered.

Oklahoma City 10, SACRAMENTO 6 – the Dodgers had 16 hits, including four each by Travis Taijeron and Angel Mora.

LAS VEGAS 7, New Orleans 6 (10) – Vegas scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to tie it, and Ty Kelly singled home the winning run in the tenth. Story from Vegas.

Albuquerque 3, IOWA 1 – Raimel Tapia‘s two-run single was the big hit for the ‘Topes.

OMAHA 6, El Paso 5 – Omaha took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning before things got wild. El Paso tallied three runs in the top of the ninth to take a 5-4 lead, and Omaha won on a two-run walk-off single by Adalberto Mondesi. Story from Omaha.

SALT LAKE 8, Round Rock 3 – Jabari Blash hit his PCL-leading 16th home run for the Bees. Story from Salt Lake City.


Rubber Match In The Blues City

June 7, 2018

The Rainiers close out the three-game series in Memphis tonight at 5:05 (Pacific), and Tacoma has a chance to win the road series. Despite taking a 2-1 loss on Wednesday night, the team has gone 11-6 over its last 17 away games.

After tonight’s game the team will load up on a bus and drive three hours to Nashville, where a four-game series starts on Friday night.

The last two times the Rainiers made this particular bus trip, the team stopped half way in Jackson, TN to exchange players with the Double-A affiliate. That won’t be happening this time, since the Mariners no longer have Jackson as an affiliate – although the Double-A team is still in this part of the country, just a little bit west of Memphis in Little Rock, Arkansas. We’re not driving that way this time.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Tacoma grounded into four double plays, which is how they scored only one run despite getting seven hits and drawing six walks. The pitching was strong, with Christian Bergman taking the 2-1 loss allowing just two runs over six innings. Nick Rumbelow made his season debut, working a scoreless eighth with one walk and one hit allowed.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday there were… no roster moves? Really? Don’t worry; we’ll have at least one today.

TODAY: Tacoma (29-31) at Memphis (36-24), 5:05 (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: St. Louis Cardinals.

SEASONS SERIES: Tied, 1-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Lindsey Caughel (1-2, 7.88) at RHP Dakota Hudson (6-2, 2.69)

It’s another bullpen day for the Rainiers while we wait for Ariel Miranda‘s fingernail problem to clear up.

HOT HITTERS: Adam Law has reached base safely in each of his first ten Triple-A games, hitting safely in eight of them… Seth Mejias-Brean has a six-game hitting streak… Dan Vogelbach has nine RBI over his last seven games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Memphis has been in first place in the American Conference since the start of the season, and the Redbirds are 13-6 since May 19… starting pitching has been the team’s strength, and they like to steal bases… centerfielder Orlando Mercado and catchers Carson Kelly and Andrew Knizer are regarded as top prospects.

FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers outfielder Tyler O’Neill is currently with Memphis, although he has already been called up by St. Louis twice this season and could get recalled at any moment. They were expected to have former Rainiers catcher Steven Baron, but he was designated for assignment in a series of roster moves on Wednesday and is currently in “baseball limbo.”

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

Colorado Springs 6, FRESNO 1 – Sky Sox leadoff man Kyle Wren went 1-for-3 with five RBI: a three-run homer and two sacrifice flies. That’s an unusual box score line.

Oklahoma City 9, SACRAMENTO 3 – Manny Banuelos struck out ten batters and earned the win for the Dodgers.

NASHVILLE 5, Reno 1 – starter James Naile delivered seven strong innings, while Jake Smolinski and Sheldon Neuse each had three hits for the Sounds.

IOWA 4, Albuquerque 3 – Victor Caratini drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for the I-Cubs.

El Paso 3, OMAHA 2 – young second baseman Luis Urias snapped a 2-2 tie with a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning. Story from Omaha.

Round Rock 16, SALT LAKE 4 – the Express banged out 20 hits and scored in seven different innings. Five players had three hits for Round Rock. Story from SLC.

New Orleans 16, LAS VEGAS 4 – the Cakes also had 20 hits, in a similar game to the one above. A difference: New Orleans scored all 16 runs in the first four innings, including an eight-run fourth. Las Vegas starter Aaron Laffey retired after the game – story from Vegas. That’s the second time this season a Las Vegas starter has gotten bombed and retired after the game.


Lawrence Shuts Out Memphis to Open Road Trip

June 6, 2018

If they were all like this, dear readers, everybody would want to be the Tacoma Rainiers radio broadcaster.

Dan Vogelbach hit a grand slam, Casey Lawrence tossed a magnificent 97-pitch complete game shutout, and it was all over in 2 hours, 18 minutes as the Rainiers opened the Tennessee road trip with a 5-0 win at Memphis.

It was the third career shutout for Lawrence, and his second in a Tacoma uniform. You may have attended his first one: an eight-hitter on July 3rd last year prior to the Fireworks Extravaganza.

The day was so good that the pregame press box meal was catered by the famous Rendezvous BBQ, located in a grungy alley half-a-block from the ballpark. For dessert there was a freezer full of ice cream sandwiches, which can pose a problem for someone such as myself.

The Rainiers odd – but welcome – road dominance continues. The club has gone 11-5 over the last 16 away games. Christian Bergman will try to keep it going tonight.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

YESTERDAY: Casey Lawrence pitched a complete game shutout and Dan Vogelbach launched a grand slam as the Rainiers opened the Tennessee Trip with a 5-0 win at Memphis. Lawrence worked a three-hitter, walked none, struck out six, and threw just 97 pitches. It was Tacoma’s first complete game of the season.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers activated RHP Nick Rumbelow from the disabled list, sent LHP Anthony McIver and catcher Manny Pazos to Class-A Modesto, and added catcher Garrett Kennedy from Modesto.

TODAY: Tacoma (29-30) at Memphis (35-24), 5:05 (Pacific).

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: St. Louis Cardinals.

SEASONS SERIES: Tacoma leads, 1-0.

PITCHERS: RHP Christian Bergman (4-3, 3.90) at RHP Daniel Poncedeleon (4-2, 2.48)

Poncedeleon survived a frightening head injury last year and has returned to lead the PCL in strikeouts. He also ranks third in most walks issued, so…

HOT HITTERS: Adam Law has reached base safely in each of his first nine Triple-A games, hitting safely in eight of them… John Andreoli is 8-for-22 with four RBI during a six-game hitting streak… Dan Vogelbach has nine RBI over his last six games.

OPPONENT NEWS: Memphis has been in first place in the American Conference since the start of the season, and the Redbirds are 12-6 since May 19… starting pitching has been the team’s strength, and they like to steal bases… centerfielder Orlando Mercado and catchers Carson Kelly and Andrew Knizer are regarded as top prospects.

FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers outfielder Tyler O’Neill is currently with Memphis, although he has already been called up by St. Louis twice this season and could get recalled at any moment. They were expected to have former Rainiers catcher Steven Baron, but he was designated for assignment in a series of roster moves yesterday and is currently in “baseball limbo.”

BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 4:50 (Pacific) on South Sound Talk 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • Even the guys at MiLB.com got excited and wrote a story about Casey Lawrence‘s shutout. This is a good report with lots of details and reaction from Lawrence.
  • The Mariners opened the tough part of their schedule by bashing Houston, 7-1. That’s 14 wins in the last 17 games.
  • Ryan Divish went the extra mile on this one, listing Mariners draft picks from the 3rd through 10th rounds with multiple scouting reports. For a unique story, check out sixth rounder Joey O’Brien.

Around the PCL (home team in CAPS):

FRESNO 1, Colorado Springs 0 – Jon Kemmer‘s walk-off single scored the only run of the game. Freddy Peralta carried a no-hitter into the seventh for the ‘Springs, and sleep apnea survivor Josh James struck out 13 over seven innings for Fresno. Story from MiLB.com.

SACRAMENTO 7, Oklahoma City 4 – River Cats starter Daniel Camarena tossed 5.2 scoreless innings, and Oklahoma City’s bullpen managed to issue seven walks in two innings.

Reno 4, NASHVILLE 3 – Aces starter Alex Young tossed six innings allowing one run, and Jimmie Sherfy nailed down his tenth save.

OMAHA 6, El Paso 5 – Ryan O’Hearn hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Story from Omaha.

Albuquerque 5, IOWA 1 – top prospect Garrett Hampson went 3-for-3 and scored twice to support a strong start by veteran lefty Brett Oberholtzer.

Round Rock 10, SALT LAKE 5 – the Express banged out 17 hits, and Hunter Cole hit two home runs in his Triple-A debut. Story from MiLB.com.

LAS VEGAS 11, New Orleans 10 – after building a 10-1 lead in the first four innings, Las Vegas barely held on for victory. Story from Las Vegas.